'Communities and Jewish Identity in Europe'

Transcript of First Plenary of the Third General Assembly of European Jewry, Budapest (20–23 May 2004)

in European Judaism
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  • 1 Hanadiv Charitable Foundation
  • 2 Institute of Jewish Policy Research
  • 3 Euro Asian Jewish Congress
  • 4 University of Paris X
  • 5 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
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The European Jewish reality today confounds predictions of decline with demographic decline. We can see that predictions of Jewish decline don't mean that the data was wrong, but rather the interpretation of the data on Jewish life was wrong. To look at the inevitably flawed data and not see trends that cannot be altered is just bad futurology. The fact is (and we know it from our daily life, work life as well as leisure life) that today information is power. Without information about who we as Jews in Europe are, we cannot seriously build a future. The kind of information we need about ourselves is not just how many we are and where we are. This kind of information is sometimes impossible to know definitively. We really need to know what kind of Jews we are, what kind of Jewish identities form our being, what makes up Jewish identities today.

European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe